I didn’t know that teaching watercolour would be so rewarding when I started. It was a little terrifying, actually, because I felt so very much still a student ten years ago when I started teaching painting in watercolor. I had a lot to learn about both painting and teaching, and I mainly started teaching watercolour workshops because 1. I was asked and 2. I needed the money to pay for materials (and framing. Oh, framing is SO expensive!).
It was important to me to teach the watercolor painting techniques that I learned by time-consuming trial and error, alone in my living room night after night. The idea was that hopefully students would be able to learn them by doing, and hopefully faster than I did! At first I was timid about offering any kind of criticism, and over time I realized that students were looking for my direct guidance, and that wise and constructive criticism was appreciated.
Finally, I wanted watercolour painting to seem approachable. So many students come to watercolour fearing it. They’ve been told that watercolour is the “hardest medium” and that you can’t fix mistakes (which to them means, you can’t make mistakes). I have absolutely loved being able to communicate the joy and satisfaction of painting, and I think it’s this encouraging approach that has made my classes, workshops and videos so popular.
And teaching turned out to be a whole lot of fun! Seems like people who love watercolour are the best kind of people, and I love to meet them all. There’s a lot of laughter in my classes.
I’ve added a new page to my web site called “Workshops Near & Far“. In addition to teaching locally, I have an online class with over 350 students enrolled, and I will travel to teach in a weekend workshop format. And I am now offering private “distance education” – consulting with a single student to help guide and direct and take watercolour to the next level. I really think there is something there for everyone!